Heterostructured WO3@CoWO4 bilayer nanosheets for enhanced visible-light photo, electro and photoelectro-chemical oxidation of water
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Herein, a facile interface-induced synthesis method is first established to newly fabricate two-dimensional (2D) bilayer nanosheets of WO3@CoWO4 as highly efficient catalysts for enhanced photo, electro and photoelectro-chemical oxygen evolution reactions (OERs). The heterostructure and the interfacial oxygen vacancy of WO3@CoWO4 reduce the energy barriers in the OER. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations and material characterizations reveal that the WO3@CoWO4 p–n heterojunction endows the composite with a narrowed band gap for better visible-light harvesting, rapid charge transfer across the interface and a lower recombination rate of the photo-excited carriers. The interface O-vacancy vests the active Co site with an enhanced density of state (DOS) at the valence band maximum (VBM), which can increase the concentration of the photogenerated holes to improve photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical (PEC) activity. This study presents a proof-of-concept design towards low cost and multi-metal 2D/2D nanosheets for water oxidation applications.